Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Former Southampton police officer jailed for misconduct

PC Keith Burgess
Image caption Keith Burgess sent "flirtatious" messages to a 17-year-old girl

A former police officer has been jailed for 30 months over his "inappropriate" behaviour towards two teenage girls.

PC Keith Burgess, who was based in Southampton, was found guilty in May of two charges of misconduct in public office.

Guildford Crown Court heard he sent "flirtatious" messages to a 17-year-old girl and asked for pictures of her in return.

The 42-year-old was also convicted over his behaviour towards a 16-year-old.

But he was cleared of sexually assaulting her in her kitchen while her mother sat in the next room.

At his trial, married Burgess admitted to having a "very crude" sense of humour but said he had not intended to carry out acts suggested in his "immature" messages.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Burgess was a neighbourhood officer based at Southampton Central police station

Burgess, of Cheviot Drive, Dibden Purlieu, denied any sexual motive behind sending money to a third girl, aged 15, and said it had been to "help her out" financially.

He was found not guilty by a jury of misconduct in relation to her.

Burgess was also cleared on the direction of the judge of sending sexually explicit messages, three counts of sexual assault, a child grooming offence and two child pornography charges.

He had denied all of the charges against him.

Hampshire Police said it had dismissed the officer in 2016 for matters unrelated to the court case.

Deputy Chief Constable Sara Glen welcomed the jail sentence.

She said: "Families... welcomed him into their homes and trusted him to help, but he betrayed that trust in the most appalling way."

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